PCT international application disclosed in Korean for the first time

"I feel fascinated and proud to see that Korean technology is described in Korean on the web site of an international organization using English. It is also a great to know that the technology on the web site is the first PCT international application to be disclosed in Korea."

CEO Deok-Hun Park of Bio Spectrum Co Ltd, a company located in Gunpo City, Gyeonggi-do who specializes in the manufacture of cosmetic materials, is filled with emotion to see the patent application filed by his company disclosed on the homepage of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Working on the projects of developing health & medical technologies sponsored by the Ministry for Health, Welfare & Family Affairs and the Korea Health Industry Development Institute, Bio Spectrum Co Ltd studied and proved the 'whitening effects of Platycodin-D extracted from the roots of balloon flowers' together with the College of Pharmacy, Seoul National University. To acquire domestic as well as international patent rights for this accomplishment, the company filed a PCT international application in Korean last January, and on July 2, which was about six months from the date of filing, the application has been disclosed to the world in Korean.

As posted on the homepage of WIPO, international disclosure means that everyone around the world can search and see the descriptions and applicant of the technology.

Until last year, international disclosure was unavailable in Korean. Even though the PCT international application was filed by the people or companies of Korea PCT international applications would only be written in English or Japanese. As the Korean language was selected to be one of the international disclosure languages for PCT at the 43rd WIPO General Assembly on September 2007, writing applications in Korean became available starting this year. Finally, a PCT international application disclosed in Korean has seen the light of the day for the first time.

The selection of Korean as an international disclosure language for PCT is the first time an international organization has recognized Korean as an official language. The selection not only confirms the position of Korea as a power in IPR, but also provides greater and easier opportunities for the people and companies of Korea to file patent applications in other countries.

In fact, looking at the estimated statistics from January to June this year, a period when KIPO started to accept PCT international applications written in Korean, more than 70% of the applications were written in Korean even though English and Japanese can still be used in writing the application. The ratio of applications filed by private inventors also increased compared to the same period last year.

Director Chang-Ryong Kim of the International Cooperation & Customer Support Bureau, KIPO commented, "Although the global economic slump has put the people and companies of Korea in a difficult situation, it is still very important to preoccupy core technologies to secure the growth motives for the future. We hope that the disclosure in Korean will help Korean applicants acquire patent rights in foreign countries through the PCT international application system." PCT international applications disclosed in Korean can be searched at the homepage of WIPO (http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/en/index.jsp) by inputting the international application number or the name of the applicant. Through the homepage of WIPO, Koreans will enjoy the convenience of searching patent technologies described in Korean.


- What is PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty)?

し PCT is an international treaty made to unify and simplify the foreign application procedure for patents & utility models. Under PCT, a single international application has the effect of being filed simultaneously to all the member countries of PCT.
『 Member countries of PCT: 141 countries worldwide as of July 3rd 2009.

- History of PCT

し 1970. 6. 19 Treaty entered at the diplomatic meeting held in Washington (known as the 'Washington Treaty¨)
し 1978. 1. 24 Treaty came into effect / 18 countries deposited instruments of ratification
し 1978. 6. 1 International application works started among the 18 member countries し 1984. 5. 10 Korea entered PCT (36th member country)
し 1984. 8. 10 Korea started international application works し 1997. 9. 16 KIPO selected as ISA/IPEA し 1999. 12. 1 KIPO starts working as ISA/IPEA
し 2009. 1. 1 Besides the official language of the UN, Korean became the third language of PCT international disclosure following Japanese and German. (The use of Korean became available for PCT international applications.)
し 2009. 7. 2 PCT international applications written in Korean were internationally disclosed for the first time.

- The meaning of becoming a language for international disclosure

し After 18 months from the priority date, all PCT international applications are disclosed to the public around the world using specific official languages to describe the contents of the patent and technology. 'Language for PCT international disclosure' is the official languages used for the disclosure mentioned above.

し Currently, only ten languages (Korean, English, French, German, Japanese, Arabic, Russian, Spanish, Chinese, and Portuguese) are recognized for PCT international disclosure. Together with Portuguese, Korean was selected as one of the languages for international disclosure at the 43rd WIPO General Assembly on September 2007. The actual use of Korean started on January 1st, 2009.
『 Since the selection of Korean as the language for international disclosure means that international disclosure can be made in Korean, it also means that PCT international application can be made in Korean.

<The specifications of the PCT international application disclosed in Korean on July 2nd>

し Number of international application: PCT/KR2009/000374
し Date of international application: January 23rd, 2009 (No priority date)
し Applicant: Bio Spectrum Co Ltd (Located at Gunpo City, Gyeonggi-do)
し Name of invention: Skin whitener containing Platycodin-D
し Date of disclosure: April 2nd 2009
『 Under the regulations of PCT, applications are disclosed after 18 months from the priority date. In the case above, however, the applicant wanted expedited disclosure, and thus the application was disclosed much earlier.

<Obtained from the website of KIPO (http://www.kipo.go.kr/kpo/eng); posted on July 15, 2009>